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Adams [née Campin], Mary Grace Agnes (1898–1984), television producer and programme director, was born on 10 March 1898 at Well House Farm, Hermitage, Berkshire, the elder of two daughters (her sister died aged three) and second of four children of Edward Bloxham Campin...

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Allen [née Gill], Marjory, Lady Allen of Hurtwood (1897–1976), landscape architect and promoter of child welfare, was born on 10 May 1897 at Hazelstubbs, Gravel Hill, Bexleyheath, the daughter of George Joseph Gill (c.1860–1947), a water-rate collector, and his wife, ...

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Anstey, Rhoda (1865–1936), promoter of women's physical education, was born at Jurishayes Farm near Tiverton, Devon, on 15 April 1865, the seventh of nine children and second daughter of John Walters Anstey, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Susanna Elizabeth, née Manley. She was a natural countrywoman with a great love of the county of her birth; in 1891 she was managing the dairy on the family farm. Little else is known of her early life before she attended ...

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Arber [née Robertson], Agnes (1879–1960), botanist, was born at 26 Regent's Park Road, London, on 23 February 1879, the eldest child of Henry Robert Robertson (1839–1921), an artist, and Agnes Lucy Turner, a descendant of Robert Chamberlain (d. 1798), ceramicist, of ...

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Ashurst, Elizabeth Ann [Eliza] (c. 1814–1850), translator and campaigner for women's rights and against slavery, was born in Muswell Hill, Middlesex, the eldest child of William Henry Ashurst (bap. 1791?, d. 1855), of Muswell Hill, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, née Brown (...

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Atkinson, Mabel (1876–1958), feminist and socialist, was born on 22 May 1876 at Ridley Mill, Broomley, near Stocksfield, in rural Northumberland. She was the daughter of John Boland Atkinson, inspector of mines, and his wife, Jane, née Elliott (b. 1853), feminist and militant suffragette; she had four brothers and one sister. Her parents were, as she later said, progressive and sympathetic on female education and employment. As a young woman, however, she chafed against restrictive middle-class Victorian behaviour and dress; she considered the bicycle 'the first great emancipation' for women (...

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Auld [née Jardine; other married name Marshall], Mary (1893–1984), local politician and women's organizer, was born on 8 July 1893 in Main Street, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, the fourth child of seven born to Francis Jardine, clog maker, and his wife, Agnes Wallace. She attended ...

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Ayrton [née Walshe; other married name Balchin], Elisabeth Evelyn (1910–1991), novelist and writer on cookery, was born on 2 February 1910 at Littlefield Farm, Worplesdon, Surrey, the eldest child of Douglas Thomas George Walshe (1880–1952) and his first wife, Phyllis Sydney, née...

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Ayrton [née Marks], (Phoebe) Sarah [Hertha] (1854–1923), electrical engineer and suffragist, was born Phoebe Sarah Marks on 28 April 1854 at 6 Queen Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, third child of Alice Theresa (d. 1898), seamstress, daughter of Joseph Moss, glass merchant of ...

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Barrett, Rosa Mary (1855–1936), social reformer and feminist, was born in Jamaica, the youngest of the four surviving children of William Garland Barrett (1812–1865), Congregational minister and sometime missionary to Jamaica, and his wife, Martha, née Fletcher (1811?–1893). One brother was the leading Congregationalist ...

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Florence Eveleen Eleanore Bell, Lady Bell (1851–1930) by unknown photographer courtesy of Middlesbrough Libraries & Information

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Bell [née Olliffe], Florence Eveleen Eleanore, Lady Bell (1851–1930), author, social investigator, and playwright, was born on 9 September 1851 at 2 rue St Florentin, Paris, the youngest of the four children of Sir Joseph Olliffe (1808–1869), physician to the British embassy in ...

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian (1868–1926), traveller, archaeologist, and diplomatist, was born at Washington Hall, co. Durham, on 14 July 1868, the elder child and only daughter of (Thomas) Hugh Bell (1844–1931), an ironmaster, who succeeded his father as second baronet in 1904, and his first wife, ...

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Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell (1868–1926) by unknown photographer, c. 1900 Getty Images

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Bentley, Charlotte Eliza (1915–1996), nurse and nursing activist, was born on 15 December 1915 at 63 Portland Court, Great Portland Street, London, the daughter of John Richard Bentley, hosier, and Charlotte Emma Redard. After education at a Swiss convent school and secretarial training ...

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Besant [née Wood], Annie (1847–1933), theosophist and politician in India, was born at 2 Fish Street Hill in the City of London on 1 October 1847, the only daughter of William Persse Wood (d. 1852), underwriter, and his wife, Emily Roche Morris (...

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Annie Besant (1847–1933) by Hayman Selig Mendelssohn © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bevington [married name Guggenberger], Louisa Sarah (1845–1895), poet and anarchist, was born on 14 May 1845 in St John's Hill, Battersea, Surrey, to Louisa and Alexander Bevington. The eldest of eight children (seven of whom were girls), she was brought up a Quaker. An early enthusiasm for science was fostered by her father. Later, interested by evolutionism, she became a friend of ...

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Bing, Gertrud (1892–1964), scholar, was born in Hamburg, Germany, on 7 June 1892, the third child of Moritz Bing, merchant, and his wife, Emma Jonas. She was educated in Hamburg, where she qualified as a schoolteacher and taught for eighteen months. In 1916 she entered the ...

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Clementina Maria Black (1853–1922) by unknown photographer, pubd 1912 The Women's Library, London Metropolitan University